iBeacons – the change in retail?

iBeacons are going to be big! That’s a big statement that I have no idea if it will be true or not. But here’s why I think that:

1) The timing is right. Think back to the failed bluetooth advertising that was prevalent in SA Malls – there was a large barrier to adoption and minimal value (turn on your bluetooth, find the setting somewhere in your feature phone menu, turn it on and immediately experience battery drain and then boom – you get a Gif or a Jpg with some branding and a message on it! The timing is right now because of smart phone adoption. People are more into their phones that never before and phones are capable of doing more than ever before. This means people are becoming more and more adept to receiving offers etc on their phones – in fact they are coming to expect it.

2) Location is a reality. Yes privacy is an issue and spying is creepy, but location awareness on a micro level is big. People are lazy we want things to come to us easily, and that what iBeacons do. Offers, specials, promotions come straight to you and that is made even more compelling by the next point

3) Context is king. A discount for 10% off your next purchase at Edgars is useless when you’re at home or work, but incredibly powerful to drive purchase behaviour if you’re already in the store and deciding whether or not to buy something. It’s the difference between a sale and someone leaving empty-handed.

4) Not just retail. I’ve focused on retail primarily in this post as that is where iBeacons can do the most damage, but the options are endless for companies to provide “on the go” value to mobile customers.

Heres more info on iBeacons

Digital Payment Space

The digital payment space is hotting up quickly. Retailers and banks are quickly realising that people want to buy things on any device at any time.

In response, MasterCard has launched something quite unique. They are calling it MasterPass and to quote, it “MasterPass isn’t an app, but rather a service that retailers will be able to bake into their own apps to add functionality. Much like Amazon’s 1-click ordering button that can be embedded on retail websites, MasterPass can be rolled into retailer apps to turn smartphones and tablets into portable check-out stations. And instead of standing in line to buy something on your way out, you’ll just have to confirm you already did”

This is a smart way to go about digital payments. It almost gives the retailer the power to design a process that works for their customers, not something that is dictated to them.

For more info – check out:


Integrated Advertising

I love this video on integrated advertising. It speaks volumes for how advertising needs to change and adapt. Digital advertising is critical to the mix, but it needs to integrate into other forms of advertising in the campaign mix in order to be truly effective.

Digital wont take over advertising, but it will show its real effectiveness when it can lead a campaign.

This also talks to the Interactive brand eco-system and how brands needs to understand the place that each medium keeps in the system in order to ensure its real value.

The Connected Life

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The Connected Life is a new trend that is becoming more and more prevalent with advent of smartphones and fast internet connections, with location awareness.

Further to this, There’s been a lot of talk about “connected homes” i.e. homes that are connected and managed via the web. Well the trend seems to be moving to mobile (as are most things when it comes to digital)

3 new companies I’ve picked up on are all relying on mobile and connected homes to create awesome and unique experiences for home owners. This continues the trend of Hyper Personalisation that seems to be coming more and more prevalent. In addition the key here is simplicity as most of these require minimal upfront cost as well as DIY installation.

Check out:




This trend now seems to be moving to cars as well with most cars looking to developers to create app that link to them (Ford Sync being the most prevalent, but with others following quickly)  Ford Sync “helps you keep your eyes on the road and stay connected to your world” Once again simplicity and technology combine to make life a bit easier for the consumer. Also check out CES 2013 where this is a big trend and will give car manufacturers a new avenue to innovate and experiment with making cars even more

So mobile dominance continues its march with companies finding new and innovative ways to link smartphones to everyday life. Where to next?


Mobile Retargeting


Mobile Retargeting

I’m a huge fan of retargeting as a digital advertising method. Effectively it combines awareness with intent and can lead to direct ROI. If you’re not familiar with retargeting, effectively it enables advertisers it “follow” you around the web once you have shown your interest.

For example if you click on a Car advert and go to the site, conversion tracking can tell if you have converted (filled in a form, download a PDF etc etc) If you haven’t converted, the site assumes you are interested, drops a cookie on your machine and serves you relevant ads as you browse other sites, in a hope to get you back to the site to convert.

It has an element of hard sell, but can be very effective to change people’s minds and drive conversion.

Anyway, a new company called Drawbridge have figured out a way to do cross device retargeting i.e. from web to mobile. For example, if you browse the web looking for a flight and then leave home and carry on searching on your mobile device, their technology will follow you and serve you relevant ads from device to device. Sure there may be some drawbacks (privacy, making people annoyed etc) but the benefits to advertisers are huge as consumers are constantly shifting and becoming device agnostic.

This will also ensure that more sites become mobile focused, as well as help marketers understand behaviour better i.e. do people purchase more of X on their phone or via the web?

Watch this space!

Multi Screen World


This is a great infographic from Think with Google. According to their studies (which seem very in depth) peoples media habits have changed dramatically with the advent of smartphones and tablets and the “always on” lifestyle.

People are using these devices more and more in conjunction with other devices. Information seeking and research is now done across a few device types, starting on one and ending on another. For example, people are watching tv, checking out prices on their smartphones (while they watch) and then moving on to a laptop or tablet for further research, reviews, recommendations etc. The research shows the device usage depends on things like goals, content, location and time on our hands. All leading to different interactions and different usages to source the required information.

The report also talks about the types of interaction we have on each different device and the how we switch between Simultaneous and sequential usage.

So how can we take advantage of a report like this? I have come up with a few ways:

1) This is a key report for marketers. Clearly TV is now not enough to disseminate information. Its imperative that all the new touch points are covered with the relevant info, allowing people to reach you wherever and whenever they are. Therefore thinks like Responsive design and mobi sites are now critical to brands as people expect to find you there. Apps will also play a key role in curating your brand experience across mobile devices.

2) Managing online reputation is key. Make sure when people find you, they don’t stumble across negative reviews on Facebook and Twitter and un answered questions on sites like Hello Peter.

3) People are also looking for easy ways to buy your product. Make sure that you provide links and platforms for them to easily convert (across all devices)

4) Search is also critical – an “Always on Search” strategy will help people and you. Also make sure you bid on competitor keywords – get found off the back of your competitors advertising strategy.

Infographic is here: http://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/multiscreen_infographic.pdf

Full report is here: http://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/multiscreenworld_final.pdf

Games and Gaming

Gaming has advanced to an incredibly advanced level in the last few years. The onset of Facebook as a platform, as well as the rise of  smart devices with super fast graphics processors and amazing screen resolution have helped to fuel the rise. Games are now apps. You can download one on the fly, check it out and toss it if you don’t like it or check back if you do. No more disks, running to the shops and checking if your machine can cope with the game specs – its a brave new gaming world.

So because games are increasingly becoming a commodity, they clearly have to work harder in order to retain players and gain new ones – tough job.

I’ve been playing a few iOS strategy games and have noticed a few trends with how they deal with retention of players as opposed to acquisition, as well as how they are trying to monetise thier properties. I have a few insights on this.

1) Charging top dollar for a game is over – most games seem to be below $5 – this means game are looking at in app purchases to make the bulk of their revenue. Download fees are nice to have, but don’t seem to be as lucrative as in app purchasing.

2) Challenges and unlocks – in order to keep people interested, games keep throwing out random challenges and unlocks. Some of these are time based i.e. building something/ modding a weapon etc

3) Welcome back prizes – a new thing ive noticed. Each time you log into a game (on a new day) you get a chance to spin to get in game currency. Fun and smart way to bring people back

4) Different in game currencies– this is key yo the monetisation startegy. Most games have 3 currecines that have varing degress of diffucltyies to earn. The harder the currency is to earn – the mroe yo ucan do with it in game or you can buy more of it from a firendly in game store

5) Constant updates – Developers are constantly updating the games and taking people comments and gripes into account. This is a great way to keep a game fresh and exciting and ensure peope check back to see what has changed

This was based on 2 iOS games namely Zombie HQ and Clash of Clans that I recently played

I’m sure im missing a few tricks here – let me know in the comments

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ZMOT – Zero Moment of Truth

I love the ZMOT concept (or Zero Moment of Truth) Essentially this concept (developed by Google and some other smart people) puports that we need to add a new layer in the existing purchase life cycle. Previously, It was stated that people have stimulus, and then act upon this. This would be called FMOT or First Moment of Truth. This would then influence their purchase decision based on their experience with the brand.

However with the advent of the interwebs, we now need to add a new layer called ZMOT or Zero Moment of Truth. Essentially this is the moment that now occurs after the initial Stimulus whereby people are now looking to the web to get more info before making their purchase. This is things like Google Search, product reviews, social media reviews, crowd sourcing info etc that people are turning to before the First Moment and after stimulus.

Essentially this is highlighting the importance of the internet in the user product decision making process and how a persons influence can be changed. See below how Google applied ZMOT to Smartphone purchase decision making.

This concept can be applied to any product and segment and used to defectively highlight the importance of the web as tool for product purchasing. companies and brands – take note!

For more- head on over to http://www.zeromomentoftruth.com/

Think with Google

If you dont know it – http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com is basically a repository of information that Google gives away (for free) to marketeers.

Why is this important? Well if you’re like me and constantly looking for stats and trends that are relevant, real time and accurate, can take a long time. Think with Goolge does all the hard work for you and give you access to a wealth of information, real time stats and cutting edge trends. This includes everything from real time search trends, keyword tool analysis, to mobile best practice and tips to go mobile.

Over the next few weeks im going to be looking at all the relevant and salient features of Think with Google and relate them back to how they can be applied by marketers (especially digital marketers)

Check back for more